The Kavli Institute of Nanoscience's Grégory Schneider and his colleagues are trying out using graphene for nanopore DNA sequencing, reports the Physics arXiv Blog. The researchers used an electron beam to make holes of various diameters in graphene sheets one atom thick. They then measured the current flowing across the sheet when the hole was empty and when a stand of DNA occupied the hole. "Sure enough, in these proof of principle experiments, the difference allowed them to determine when a strand of DNA was present or when two or more strands were stuck in the nanopore," according to the arXiv blog, which also notes that the team is in "a cutthroat race to produce the first nanopore translocation sequencer. They're up against teams from Harvard, Oxford and elsewhere who are all vying to master this trick and who have a few years' head start."
The Nanopore Race
May 31, 2010